Soccer-FIFA's agent fee cap breaches British competition law: FA Tribunal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) -Proposed FIFA regulations for football agents, including a fee cap, are incompatible with British competition law, an English FA tribunal ruled on Thursday after a five-month arbitration.

The tribunal was set up in June when agencies CAA Base, Wasserman, Stellar and ARETE challenged the implementation of FIFA's new regulations in the National Football Agent Regulations (NFAR) for English domestic transfers.

The regulations limit an agent's fee to 3% when a player's annual salary is more than $200,000, and 5% when it is under that amount.

The limit doubles for an agent representing both the player and the club in a transfer.

"The FA Rule K Tribunal... declared that if the FA implements the fee cap and the pro rata payment rules in the NFAR, it will be in breach of the Competition Act 1998," the FA said in a statement.

"The FA is considering the implications of the decision and will provide a further update as soon as it is able."

Earlier this year courts in Germany and Spain issued temporary injunctions against implementing some of the regulations in domestic transfers.

The FA tribunal's decision only affected two of the multiple provisions in the regulations, FIFA said in a statement.

"Other key provisions were endorsed by the tribunal, including those preventing agents from representing multiple clients in a transfer, and requiring that the client pays the agent, both of which were unsuccessfully challenged by the agents.

"FIFA has already scheduled a meeting with the Football Agent Working Group to discuss the outcome of these proceedings," FIFA added.

A statement from the four agencies leading the legal challenge (CAA Base, Wasserman, Stellar and ARETE) said FIFA's proposed rules would have a "devastating effect" on football agents.

"Our case aimed to protect hard-working, trusted agents from going out of business, leaving players vulnerable. We are pleased that the tribunal agreed that FIFA's rules relating to a fee cap are unenforceable from a UK competition law perspective," the statement added.

"Agents are not against regulation. However, as we proved to the Tribunal, there are serious concerns about the way in which FIFA’s proposed rules have been introduced, including how they affect not just agents, but players and clubs too.

"We hope that legal proceedings in Europe will come to the same conclusion to protect agents and the wider football industry from FIFA's overreaching authority."

FIFA won a challenge against its agent regulations in July when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed a case brought by a Switzerland-based agents' association.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha and Mitch Phillips, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Football

Soccer-League Cup trophy a part of final chapter with Liverpool, says Klopp
Soccer - League Cup final officials must avoid Liverpool bias, says Pochettino
Soccer-Asian Cup-winning coach Lopez handed Qatar contract until 2026
Soccer-Spain women's team beat Netherlands to secure historic Olympic spot
Soccer-Barcelona have not given up hope of winning successive LaLiga titles, says coach Xavi
Soccer-Leverkusen beat Mainz 2-1 to widen gap at top and set unbeaten record
Soccer-Valencia match postponed after deadly city fire
Soccer-West Ham boss Moyes says he's been offered new contract
Man United should easily see off Fulham
Stanley wants to get KL’s finances in order before announcing team plans

Others Also Read